7 Tips for Better Sleep
One of the best things you can do for your health is to get plenty of sound sleep. If you are having trouble getting enough rest, it might be time to build a sleep sanctuary. Here's how.
How to Sleep
Trouble getting to bed at night? You're not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), more than 15 percent of American adults report problems sleeping. Few things are more important to your overall health than good sleep. Luckily, a good night's rest may be only a few short steps away. Cure your insomnia by redesigning your room for maximum tranquility.
Choose the Right Color
The color you paint your bedroom walls and the colors you use to decorate can affect the way you feel while you’re in the bedroom and, ultimately, can affect your sleep. Studies in College Student Journal have shown that subdued shades of blue and green can elicit feelings of relaxation, calmness, comfort, peace, and hope. Lighter colors such as peach and tan may also help calm your senses before bedtime.
Get the Right Bed
You'll spend almost a third of your lifetime in bed, so it makes sense to commit the time and money needed to make sure it meets your needs. There's no one-size-fits-all mattress. Find a store that lets you test a mattress for 30 days before buying. Try different pillows and select the right size mattress and level of firmness for you. If you're waking up stiff or sore, try something else.
Turn Down the Light
It seems obvious, but making sure your room is dark enough is essential to a night of quality sleep. Turn off or block all light sources, and close your curtains or blinds—even streetlights and moonlight can disrupt your sleep. If you need some light to fall asleep, get a nightlight, dimmer, or switch-controlled lamp that will emit dim light.
Turn the Clock
Turning your alarm clock so that it faces away from your bed is a simple but effective adjustment. The low light from a clock can affect your sleep and watching time slowly tick by as you lie in bed will cause mental stress that may prevent you from falling asleep.
Get Rid of the TV (and Computer)
Although it may be tempting to curl up and watch a movie from the comfort of your bed, your bedroom should be reserved for sleep and intimacy. Electronics can affect both of those. Move your TV into another room. If you use your bedroom as a home office, make sure that when you put away your computer, it’s out of sight. While you're at it, make sure there's no soft blue glow coming from your cell phone, Kindle, or iPod either.
Organize your closet and shelves so that there aren't piles of clothes and stacks of books lying around your room. Move unfinished projects out of your bedroom so they don't stress you out when you're getting ready for bed. An uncluttered room will lead to an uncluttered mind, less distraction, and easier relaxation.
Clean the Air
Breathing easier will lead to better sleep. Open the windows regularly to let fresh air in and get stale air out. You may want to put an air-purifying plant or a HEPA-filter air-purifying system in your bedroom to rid the air of toxins and allergens. Finally, consider aromatherapy mist your pillow with water infused with lavender, vanilla, sandalwood, bergamot, or chamomile to soothe your senses before bedtime.
Still Can't Sleep?
If you've redesigned your bedroom but still lie awake at all hours of the night, it may be time to take further steps. Here are some small behavioral changes you can make during the day that pay huge dividends at night. You can also consider this comprehensive list of insomnia treatments. No matter what, don't accept a life without sleep; you deserve better!